RosieLeetta “Lee” Reed portrays Cathay Williams, the first documented African American woman to enlist in the U.S. Army and the only woman to serve in the U.S. Army as a man. She shares this amazing story at a live virtual event at allentx.swagit.com 3:00 p.m. Saturday, August 14, at the Allen Public Library and the program is free. Submit questions until 4:00 p.m. that evening through firstname.lastname@example.org
Born in Missouri to a free man of color and a woman in slavery, Williams was legally a slave. As a teenager, she worked as a house slave on the Johnson plantation near Jefferson City, Missouri. In 1861, Union forces occupied Jefferson City and captured slaves who were designated by the Union as "contraband." At age 17, Williams was impressed into the 8th Indiana Volunteer Infantry Regiment, commanded by Colonel William Benton.
Williams enlisted in the United States Regular Army on November 15, 1866, at St. Louis for a three-year engagement, posing as a man. Assigned to the 38th infantry, she was hospitalized after contracting smallpox.
RosieLeetta “Lee” Reed is president of the Texas Buffalo Association, dedicated to preserving Texas history and the legacy of the Buffalo Soldiers. A founding member of the Lakeside Riders, she participates in rodeos, parades, and honor guards. A recipient of the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Award for “Outstanding Public Service Benefiting Communities,”
Reed continues to educate people about the history and heritage of Cowboys and Cowgirls of Color.
Call 214-509-4911 for more information.